Transgender committee continues discussion

The Thursday, Dec. 8 Transgender Accommodation Plan Committee meeting kept in line with previous meetings regarding pace, but the group is working on reaching policy discussion soon.

For the previous meetings held by the group, focus has been on working on a Student Plan that can be used as a tool by Lassen High School Principal Robin Pedrett as a structuring device to help direct conversation between transgender students, the parents, a school counselor and the administration.

“I want to make it the best possible document for students and staff to work through,” said Superintendent Bill McCabe, later noting that the plan was not policy, but would be included in the packet presented to the board of directors as an exhibit.

However, a member of the committee noted that he believed the plan, if it is to be attached to the policy, needs to take account of non-transgender students on campus as well.

There was also some discussion as to where certain language in the plan, specifically regarding restroom usage was coming from.

Committee member James Snell wondered, because there was no policy put in place yet, where the language allowing students to use restrooms of their identifying gender came from and what kind of boundaries there were.

Additionally regarding the plan, there was some questions posed to field trip lodging by various parents on the committee.

Student and meeting attendee Ben Watson discussed what some overnight field trips look like. For the Bio trip he said students bring tents and said he has even slept alone. He then brought up the FBLA and FFA trips, which are the most common, and said prior to the trip attendees meet with an advisor to discuss arrangements.

But according to McCabe that conversation about field trip lodging would come later on as it is called upon.

There was also some further discussion regarding the plan, which would provide Pedrett with an official resource to use.

Additionally during the meeting, there was some discussion not related to the plan.

Some of the members noted the slow pace of the meetings, and wondered when they would get to discuss actual policy and various ways to protect the privacy of all students on campus.

McCabe noted he would go the pace the committee wanted. He did not want anyone to think the district was trying to hide anything.

“I want you to feel like you have a voice,” he said.

One committee member suggested sending a survey to students and parents.

There was also talk about how to fund different projects, like potentially putting in unisex bathrooms.

There was discussion about making looking into special tax bond for a future ballot.

The next step for the committee will to move on to working on a suggested policy and more documents, which will then be presented to the board. The board then has to take a two-step process to approve or change the suggested policy once presented.

“I know how passionate you are about this and we are going to work toward a consensus,” McCabe told the committee.

The next meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.